What Is the Color of Ancient Greece?

Have you ever wondered about the color of Ancient Greece The rich history and art of this civilization continue to fascinate us to this day, and one aspect that often captures our attention is the use of color in their art and architecture. Let’s take a closer look at the colors used in Ancient Greece and their significance.

The Colors of Ancient Greece

The ancient Greeks used a variety of colors in their art, including black, white, red, blue, green, yellow, and purple. They typically sourced these colors from natural materials such as minerals, plants, and insects.


Black was a commonly used color in Ancient Greece. It was made by burning bones or ivory until they turned black and then grinding them into a powder. This pigment was often used for outlining figures or for creating shadows.


White was another commonly used color in Ancient Greek art. It was made from chalk or gypsum and was often used to highlight certain parts of a painting or sculpture.


Red was an essential color in Ancient Greece because it was associated with blood, courage, and passion. It was made from a mineral called cinnabar or from crushed red ochre stones. Red was often used for painting pottery or for creating the background of wall paintings.


Blue was not as commonly used in Ancient Greek art as other colors. However, when it did appear, it symbolized water or the sky. The Greeks sourced blue pigment from ground lapis lazuli stones.


Green represented nature and growth in ancient Greek culture. It was made from plants such as spinach or parsley that were ground into a fine powder.


Yellow represented light and warmth in ancient Greek culture. Greeks sourced yellow pigment from the mineral orpiment or from ground saffron.


Purple was a rare and expensive color in Ancient Greece because it was made from a type of shellfish called murex. It was often used to represent royalty or wealth.

The Significance of Color in Ancient Greece

Color played an essential role in Ancient Greek art and culture. The Greeks believed that colors had symbolic meanings and could evoke specific emotions. For example, red represented passion and courage, while blue represented calmness and intellect.

The use of color also played a significant role in architecture in Ancient Greece. Buildings were often painted with bright colors to make them stand out, and certain colors were reserved for specific types of buildings. For example, temples were typically painted white to symbolize purity, while public buildings were often painted red or blue.


The color of Ancient Greece is a fascinating topic that highlights the importance of color in art and culture. The use of color in ancient Greek art and architecture helps us understand their beliefs and values better. Whether it’s the bold reds or the calming blues, these colors continue to inspire artists today and remind us of the rich history of this civilization.